The Secrets of Multiple Business Owners
After having interviewed a few entrepreneurs who own and manage more than one business, I noticed a few similarities between all their personalities. One very pertinent character I found similar among all of them is the sincere passion for loving what they do. It seems like they first realized they loved it then they decided to turn it into a profit-making model. Then, they all expressed the same sentiment about how loving what they do is more important than making money. But of course, the money becomes important when you have to pay a staff and keep up with expenses.
Based on my observation, here is a list of things that makes a successful multi-business owner:
- Genuine passion for what they do
- Happy to give back or pay forward
- Keep a healthy relationship with staff/employees and vendors
- Understand how important marketing really is
- Continued education
- Network! Network! Network!
- Web Presence – Social Media
- Time Management
Owning multiple functioning businesses is not for everyone.
According to Bloomberg Business Week: “Having one successful company makes it easier to start a second one, but it’s also a risky venture that—if not done correctly—could jeopardize not only the new company but the established one as well.”
Without further a due, I would like to introduce to you a friend of mine and one whom I admire due to his passion for turning his hobbies into businesses. Watch the video to learn more about Brian Masayon, owner of PTRN-Care Inc., Hobam Photography, M Productions and Events and Colony of Healers Clothing Line.
SMALL BUSINESS EXPO WAS THE BIZNAZ!
I have no regrets attending the 2012 Small Business Expo held at the California Market Place last November 8th. As soon as I walked in the entrance, they had someone dressed in business attire dancing on a platform. I thought to myself, now this is the type of expo I want to be in. Just because it’s about business, it doesn’t have to be so serious.
We were then instructed to ride the elevator all the way to the penthouse floor. As soon as I walked in, the energy was high and the check in process was a breeze with my pre-printed badge. There were so many booths to visit, I immediately felt overwhelmed with so much information.
I quickly came up with a system of collecting everything I can in my small business expo bag – I know, not much of a “system”. But I got there at noon and I wish I had came earlier because I didn’t finish networking with all the vendors (smh moment).
There were a few things I looked out for:
- Possible businesses or business owners I can work with
- Ideas for a vendor booth
- FREE giveaways
- Free information
- New trends that I may not know about
- Vendors and companies offering referral incentives
The VIP workshops were all so relevant that I was disappointed there was not enough time to attend each one. The only one I attended was the CRM – Customer Relationship Management – How to get your customers to keep coming back.
A few of the vendors I really liked were:
- Do it in Person Booth – they hired professional models who attracted most of the men. They also had a photo booth which was a nice touch for post marketing purposes. They are a competitor of EventBrite.com
- PayPal – they came out with a credit card reader to compete with square.
- Web Commercial Pro – offered free 30 sec. professional videos to anyone who wanted to create one.
There were hundreds of vendors and needless to say, I cannot wait to attend the next expo in town.
WIN a Ticket to the The List Conference 2013 Video Contest
The power of giving is contagious. We believe that in order to be successful, we have to learn how to give and serve others.
Wait, what is this event about?
The LIST is a two-day conference for those who want to expand their professional network, learn more about entrepreneurship and what it takes to make a business become successful. Major companies are using modern technology and machines are replacing people. Corporations are going to small businesses instead of hiring because it cuts their bottom line. Learn more at www.ineedthelist.com
Here’s the BIG Prize:
Join the List Conference 2013 Video Contest for a chance to win the following prizes:
- A ticket to The List, worth $300
- A professional promo video from Flourishe.net, worth $640
- Design and print of 1000 business cards and 1000 flyers from Events In The City, worth $250
- Free consultation with one of our professional speakers*
We will also select a second place (most viewed) and third place winner (people’s choice or most liked) to receive 50% and 25% discount, respectively, off the THE LIST ticket and consulting services from our pros.
*The consultation service provider for this contest will be announced at the conference. Read more about our speakers at www.ineedthelist.com
Here’s how to WIN:
We are looking for creativity, heart, and the ability to follow directions.
Create a video under 2 minutes and share the following:
- State your name and business or business idea
- Describe your business/idea
- Where are you at with your business/idea now
- What’s your challenge in taking it to the next level?
- What exactly does that next level look like?
- What are you looking forward to learning the most when you attend THE LIST?
Then upload your video to YouTube with the following Title and Description (just copy and
THE LIST CONFERENCE 2013 VIDEO CONTEST entry by (state your name/business name)
http://www.ineedthelist.com – THE LIST 2-day Conference for business owners and entrepreneurs at the Embassy Suites in Ontario, CA January 18th and 19th 2013.
Make sure to post your video on our fan page wall:
Bonus Social Media Points!!!
Wanna really boost your chances of winning? Spread the word on Facebook and twitter!
I want a ticket to THE LIST Conference for Entrepreneurs! www.ineedthelist.com #TheListLA (post your video url).
*Please make sure to use the #TheListLA so we can easily find your post!
What you need to know:
- You can enter to win via a 2 minute or less video upload on YouTube.com. Tweets & Facebook shares gets you bonus points!
- Videos must contain the description and title above.
- Post your video on our fan page wall: www.facebook.com/lwspecialeventsthelist
- Post and repost your video for bonus points! Tweets and Facebook posts must contain #TheListLA .
- All entries must be submitted and posted by December 31, 2012. The winner will be announced on January 7, 2013.
- From December 31, 2012 through January 7, 2013, all contestants are encouraged to get as many likes and views of their video to accumulate bonus points.
- If you already have a ticket, no worries. We will either refund you or you can give your spare ticket to a friend.
- No purchase is necessary to win.
- When you enter this contest, you are also giving THE LIST, The List event partners and speakers the permission the right to use or repost your video.
GOOD LUCK! We cannot wait to see your videos and posts! Get creative!
The List Conference Producer:
THE LIST Event Partners:
Events In The City (“Premier Event Planning and Marketing Consulting Service Provider”)
Inland Empire Community Calendar (IECC)
Vendor Spotlight: Cupcake Cuties Cupcakery
I am excited to launch the Vendor Spotlight of the month!
As an Event Planner, I rely heavily on my preferred vendors relationships. They make my life easier because I know what to expect from them.
Let’s take for example, Cupcake Cuties Cupcakery, a company started by Staci Adams and Jennifer Anderson. Staci is a fellow Coug (Washington State University Alum) and when we ran into each other in LA, she showed me photos of their cupcakes and immediately, I ordered their picture cupcakes for a Birthday Party and they were a hit!
I recommend the picture cupcakes for special events because they add a personal touch. Cupcake Cuties Cupcakery can print photographs or logos on the cupcakes. Here are a few examples:
I sat down with Cupcake Cuties Cupcakery to ask them a few questions about their successes.
Events in the City: Tell us a little bit about you.
Successful Event Tip: Incorporate Live Twitter Feed
Social Media can help take your event to the next level. My personal favorite way of doing this is by showing a live feed of audience/viewers tweets. To do this, you must first understand the functionality of #hashtags.
Here’s a quick definition and purpose of #hashtags:
Definition: The (#) symbol, called the #hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
Using #hashtags to categorize Tweets by keyword:
- People use the #hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
- Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword..
- Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
- Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.
Click here to read more about #hashtags.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s discuss different platforms of live tweets at events:
- TWITTERFALL.com– this has a basic platform but it has all the functionality you need to get your audience tweets live! This basic platform allows you to search for more than one #hashtag and it groups the #hashtag by colors. Amazing!
- ANOTHERTWEETONTHEWALL.com – this has a more “stylish” platform. This is good to run on the screen for long periods of time, sort of like a screen saver. It has creative transitions between tweets and not to mention, pleasing in the eye. The drawback is that you can only search for one #hashtag at a time.
- VISIBLETWEETS.com – this is even more stylish than the last one and it has more transition options and style options. The only drawback is that you can only search for one #hashtag at a time.
- http://hootsuite.com/hootfeed – I find Hootsuite very functional and useful in helping me manage all my social media outlets. Their Hootfeed platform is basic but it allows you to customize the feed wall and add your logo or change text and background colors.
To conclude, the purpose of integrating live tweets at your event is to:
- Increase your chances of being a “Trending Topic” on twitter.
- Increase your followers as your audiences’ tweets will be visible to their followers.
- Engage your audience or allow them to participate.
- Collect evaluations/suggestions/opinions.
- Continue conversations even after the event.
The downside is that you will not be able to stop any tweets that may be offensive using the free tools I’ve listed above, but there are platforms you can subscribe to that will allow you to monitor your feed before it goes on live like Magnetfeed.com.
In the seminars that I have attended, I haven’t experienced inappropriate tweets, but sometimes it can get distracting when tweets get off topic. My advice is to go for it and try to incorporate live tweets at your next event. It is more helpful than harmful!
Small Business Tip: Spend Money on Marketing!
If you’re feeling a little hesitant about spending money in marketing your business just remember the cliché “you gotta spend money to make money”.
If you don’t know how much to spend for marketing, take a look at your previous year’s profit (NET) and take 10-20% of that amount and spend it on marketing in the present year. So, if last year, you made $50,000, spend $5,000 – $10,000 on marketing this year. It’s a good rule to follow.
Let’s say you want to spend $5k that means you’re going to be spending $416, which is not a lot of money but something is better than nothing. Please don’t spend that on a grainy picture of your store on a black and white ad on a newspaper that no one reads. There’s a better way to spend your low budget dollars.
Here are a few ways you should consider:
- Hire a Social Media Expert to help you gain more likes to broaden your facebook reach.
- Hire a graphic designer to design a campaign from flyers to business cards to loyalty cards.
- Invest in a mass email service online.
- Reward your shoppers with giveaways – reusable tote bags that have your logo and info – this is free advertising for you every time they use your bag.
- Plan a special event that will bring you new customers.
In case you are a little confuse on the differences between Marketing, Advertising, PR, Promotion, Social Media etc… Here is a simple graphic I made to show you my version of the new generation Markeing Elements.
Don’t get too caught up with the technicalities. The most important thing is that you open your mind to marketing and decide what results you want before you invest your money and watch your business grow.
10 Ways to Rock your Interview!
Most of us get the jitters during the interview which causes us to freeze or not do as well as we would’ve wanted. Here are 10 tips to help you leave a great impression with your potential employer:
- Research the Company! Do not forget to do your homework before an interview. Learn about the Company’s history, culture, competition, plans for the future. This will most likely help you create questions when it’s your turn to ask.
- Review your resume and make sure you can explain any gaps of employment or why you only worked at a company for less than two years…etc.
- Be prepared to answer the open ended question “Tell me about yourself” with the most impressive facts about you! Here’s an example:
“My passion is marketing and events. I have been in these industries for over seven years. I graduated from Washington State University with a 3.3 GPA. I have always been a multi-tasker and an over achiever. In college, I earned numerous awards such as The President’s Award, Excellent Team Leader, and School of Business Most Successful Student. I am currently a Public Relations Commissioner for the City of Carson, Board Member of Social Impact Productions Crew and a member of other organizations in the community…. Etc…”
4. Prepare your best suit! Black or Navy suit with white buttoned up blouse/top/shirt. Don’t wear stilettos, instead, wear closed toe low heeled pair of shoes. For men, make sure you shine your shoes!
5. Make sure your hair is neat and clean. Don’t wear too much make up.
6. During your interview, sit up and forward! This shows you are paying attention.
7. Be gregarious and bubbly.
8. Be confident with your answers. Don’t look up in the ceiling to think. Speak slowly to give yourself time to think.
9. Ask questions! Never say you don’t have any questions! Here are a few questions you can start with:
What do you love about this company?
What happened to the person who used to be in the position I am interviewing for now?
What type of training will be offered if I am chose to work here?
What room is there for growth?
What were the successes of the person who used to hold this position?
10. After the interview is done, take the time to write a Thank You note. Decide if it seems like your interviewer would appreciate a written note or will an email do?
HOW TO BE ORIGINAL
With the billions of people that occupy the world, it’s nearly impossible to invent or create something that doesn’t already exist.
But how can you thrive if you just end up doing the same things as others already have?
Well, if you’re not creating a high tech equipment with millions in budget, then you simply are one of the small businesses thinking about starting something that already exist somewhere in the world. Luckily, they repeatedly teach us to not reinvent the wheel.
Learn how to take your idea, personalize it, create added values, concentrate on customer service and that should be good enough to get you noticed by your immediate market.
Here are some things to think about when trying something new:
1. Who is the best in your industry and what are their branding and promotional strategy. In other words, what is their reputation (check their reviews). How are people hearing about them? What’s their buzz?
2. Who will be your target market and in what area will you serve?
3. What price range will you fall under?
4. What can you offer your customers that will be an added value compared to your competitors?
5. Who is the worst in your industry and what are they doing wrong? What complaints are they receiving?
6. How can you be a celebrity in your local market?
7. What local community events can you participate in to start getting the word out about your product or services?
8. What city events can you donate products or services to so more small business owners and like-minded people can learn more about what you do?
9. How can you be socially responsible? How can you give back?
10. How will you measure the return of your investment?
11. How much time will you allocate for continuous education?
12. What other companies in your local market compliment your businesses and how can you work with them?
13. What events can you coordinate to attract more people to your business?
14. Create a campaign and keep it simple. People will most likely support a movement or campaign that provokes emotional connection.
15. Create social media excitement through contests.
Toms, after a successful shoes campaign, decided to extended their idea to include sunglasses that will help provide reading glasses or cataract surgery to people in the third world country.
There are endless social media choices: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc… all have a universal goal of sharing statuses and pictures with friends via web but each of them offer something a little different from the other.
Reality shows have been reinvented over and over with the same idea but different cast. I won’t even try to get detailed with examples because there are too many… but I know you get my point.
I hope this motivates you to keep your creative juices flowing! Good Luck!Other blogs to read about being original: How To Be Original How to Become a Creative Genius If you want to be Original, Start from a Different Box
10 tips for a successful VENDOR FAIR
If you are a small business owner, hand-crafter, painter or a service provider, it’s important that you research events that will help you gain new customers and new exposure.
Example Vendor Fairs are as follows:
Bridal Fair; Health Fair; Holiday Village; Farmer’s Market; Beauty Event etc….
To be successful, here is a list of things you need to prepare or think about and options/ideas that might work for you:
- How will you collect new emails/contacts?
- Do a raffle and ask for emails on the raffle entry form.
- Buy a spinning wheel and have people fill out entry forms before they can spin the wheel.
- How will you attract people at your table?
- Giveaways are always attractive. There are plenty of online websites where you can order personalized giveaways: www.Branders.com; www.4imprint.com; www.GoUSA.com etc… compare prices and pick a good giveaway. Water bottles, T-shirts, lanyards, key chains, pins, pens, are the most popular.
- People seem to love spinning the wheel and the prices can be something simple: Candies, pens, water bottles, coupons etc.
- Host entertainment for kids: Face painting, arts and crafts, fake tattoos, etc. The parents will go where their kids can have fun.
- Purchase a professional table cloth especially if you’re planning to do vendor fairs more often. It helps to remember your company if you have a good presence. You can order a fitted table cloth for a 6ft table or 8ft table and get your logo embroidered. You can also order them online at http://www.michaelgroupinc.com; http://www.branders.com; etc…
- Purchase a 6 ft or 8 ft folding table for vendor fairs that will require for you to bring your own table.
- Optional: purchase a 10×10 tent with your logo printed on it. This will cost you around $1,000 but it’s worth it if you plan to do at least 4 outside vendor fairs per year. Here are some websites that sell tents: www.buyshade.com; www.canopymax.com; www.tradeshowplus.com etc… it will help you cut shipping cost if you find a local vendor.
- Buy branded T-shirts and print your logo, website, facebook page and twitter page. Make sure all your staff wears your shirts for more exposure.
- Prepare samples! People want to taste/try/smell your product before they buy it. If you’re a service provider, you can do 15-30 minutes consulting then make sure you give them your brochure and possibly a discount for first time clients.
- Give them a reason to come to your store. Give out coupons for their next visit to your store.
- Train your staff with excellent customer service skills. Stand outside of your booth. Sitting behind the table seems unfriendly and those that walk around and passing out samples/giveaways are more likely to win customers.
- Last but not the least, follow up –follow up – follow up!!! Email all the customers you met that day. If you know you’ll be too exhausted to do so afterwards, already assign a team that will make this happen for you.
If you follow these simple steps, I guarantee that you will make the most out of your event/vendor fair. Remember that customers will not approach you 75% of the time. You have to give them a reason to come to you or even talk to you.